The Gray Area Reborn: Pre Nu52

Originally The Gray Area ran on Socialfist and was written by Tribe One aka Niles Gray aka The Evil Villain Demonos aka Devil Rhymeosaur. While Niles is currently signing up to test the super-soldier serum he has given us the permission to rerun the old articles.
Originally published online June 7, 2011 at Socialfist as “Remember The Time…”

Do you remember the very first article I ever posted on this site? I do. It was a mostly forgettable little wordpile and the only reason I bring it up is because in the third paragraph from the bottom I wrote these words:

“The recent change in Batman’s status quo seems like it’s going to stick. No take backs. From now on there’s going to be a whole lot of guys called Batman. That’s just how it’s going to be. Of course, there can only be one Bruce Wayne, but the management at DC would have to be really dense and pretty goddamn stubborn to take the cape and cowl away from Dick Grayson.”

I tell you what, you guys. I feel like a real grade-A heel right about now.

As I’m sure many of you are aware of by now, DC announced today their plans for the future of the Batman series of titles with regard to September’s big relaunch. I realize I’m just a little speck about the size of Mickey Rooney in the grand scheme of the world of comics blogging, which itself is another tiny speck in the world of comics journalism, but I couldn’t help reading today’s announcement in the tune of Cee Lo’s “F*ck You,” as if DC editorial was singing directly to me.

Because everyone else is doing it and I’m desperate to be popular, I’m going to tell you what I think about the DC relaunch. I’m not quite cautiously optimistic; it’s more like hopeful skepticism. I really, really want DC to make some good comics as a result of this, not only because they were already making some great comics, but because I like good comics. One in particular that I’m looking forward to is Mr. Terrific. Because who doesn’t want to read about a guy so confident he wears a jacket with his nickname airbrushed on the sleeves? Seriously, I think he’s awesome.

Another title I’m anxious for is Batgirl, because even though I love the hell out of Bryan Q. Miller’s current run Batgirl, I truly believe Gail Simone will write some really good comics. So far, however, this is about the only genuine bright side I’ve seen come out of the relaunch announcement. And it also brings to the forefront a whole slew of other issues that are intrinsic in an editorial decision like this. First among them is the fact that DC is killing a whole crap-ton of good comics in an effort to curtail their output of bad ones.

Spinning right out of that concern is the fact that these great series are being stripped of their creative teams. Honestly, there’s not a whole lot of writers at DC that I get super excited about, and the ones that I do get excited about are being taken off the books that I love them for. Not to say they won’t make good comics on whatever titles they end up doing but, is it really necessary?

You know what? Maybe it is. Maybe DC decided that rather than have Paul Dini write a really fun Zatanna comic that doesn’t sell all that well, they’d put him on a book with a higher profile character that will sell better, while at the same time making that comic fun and good. That makes sense. I get that.

What I don’t get is why Dick Grayson can’t be Batman anymore. I mean, I do get it. I do. People want Bruce Wayne to be Batman. I get that. But here’s the thing about that: he is.

More than upset and full of nerd-rage this particular decision makes me sad. It makes me think about Thor: The Mighty Avenger and Deadpool Max getting cancelled. I guess it was naive of me to think that any change would be lasting, but that’s really shitty, you guys. It’s really, really sad.

It all boils down to what I like to call the Morrison-Straczynski Effect. This scientific principle posits that any comic book series written for an extended period of time by either Grant Morrison or JMS will be rebooted within a year of them leaving the title, effectively undoing all the changes either creator implemented during their run. Here is the evidence I’ve compiled to support my theory: 1) Spider-Man: One More Day 2) New X-Men 3) Thor and now 4) Batman 5) Superman and 6) Wonder Woman.

My science is irrefutable.

Luke Herr

Luke is a writer and an aspiring professional comic writer who is also the editor in chief of Nerdcenaries. He currently is working on a graphic novel called Prison Spaceship.